Sunday, March 17, 2013


A professional for whom I have the greatest respect reflected on a conversation he had over twelve years ago with a Jewish leader many us knew. Reflecting on the organization then just organizing that is today JFNA, that prescient leader predicted:

     "Soon it will be 1939 all over again: JDC will be fund raising for itself; the Jewish Agency likewise; Jewish federations will be so weakened they will hardly be able to rise to the crises that require collective action; and our national organization will be nothing more than a trade association."

And, friends, here we are, 12 years after our hopes and dreams of a national organization was born to increase our financial resources and increase the number of donors and increase the allocations to our great partners were draped under the banner of a new organization, one that has wholly failed to meet the objectives designed for it -- and we find that it is 1939.

And, G-d forbid that we need another Kristallnacht of 1938 to see that what we have is not working.

What we have today is an organization that lacks both passion and purpose, adrift like the Carnival Triumph awash with the stench of failure. It is too much to expect the new Chairs of the Board and  Executive to be able to steer this ship when so many associated with its failure -- sycophants and hangers-on who applauded every failure as success -- remain empowered. But, then again, clearly these self-same folk will applaud new successes just as loudly.

So what might be done? Consider...

  • The Chairs, the CEO and a group of CEOs representative of all City-sizes convene a briefing for the JFNA Board to assert that they will join together in lockstep to assure that funding for the ultimate objectives of the Global Planning Table will be solely driven by new and increased financial resources over and above current allocations;
  • The Chairs assure that they, with the CEO, are reviewing all JFNA programs to offer the JFNA Board a set of priorities, scaled to the JFNA Budget, for the Board's approval,  of which the highest priority will be a refocus and reset of Financial Resource Development;
  • With the leaders of the JDC and JA, the Chairs will announce an Advocacy Task Force comprised of lay and professional leaders to visit federations in depth and advocate for the priorities of the Agency and Joint;
  • Undertaking an in-depth analysis of current core and project allocations to the Joint/JA to determine the actual "split" as at December 31, 2012;
  • Ending the investment in the JFNA"brand" refocusing marketing and communication efforts on federations and the annual campaign.
...and such other matters as might be suggested.

What have you got?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A commitment to either make the GA meaningful for the masses such as AIPAC conferences or to discontinue it.